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Movement away from written exams to more practical assessment


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Present a written argument or case to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge.

Write about the following topic:

In the modern world, there is a movement away from written exams to more practical assessment. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this trend.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in the way students are assessed, with a move away from traditional written exams towards more practical forms of assessment. This trend has sparked a debate regarding its advantages and disadvantages, which I will explore in this essay.

One of the main advantages of practical assessment is that it allows students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a more authentic and realistic way. For example, in subjects such as science or engineering, practical assessments can provide a better indication of a student’s ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations. This can be particularly beneficial for students who may struggle with traditional written exams but excel in hands-on activities.

Furthermore, practical assessments can help to develop important skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. By engaging in practical tasks, students are able to develop these skills in a more meaningful and practical context, which can better prepare them for the demands of the modern workplace.

However, there are also some disadvantages to this trend. One of the main concerns is the potential for bias and subjectivity in the assessment process. Unlike written exams, which are typically marked using clear criteria, practical assessments can be more open to interpretation, leading to inconsistencies in grading.

Additionally, the shift towards practical assessment may also place a heavier burden on teachers and resources. Setting up and administering practical assessments can be more time-consuming and costly than traditional exams, and may require additional training and support for teachers.

In conclusion, while there are clear benefits to moving away from written exams to more practical forms of assessment, there are also potential drawbacks that need to be considered. It is important to strike a balance between the two approaches, ensuring that students have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in a variety of ways, while also maintaining the integrity and fairness of the assessment process.

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